Located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward along Lake Michigan, Baumgartner Center for Dance (BCD) is home to the world-class ballet company Milwaukee Ballet. This state-of-the-art, 52,000-square-foot facility was opened in September 2019 to be a gathering place for dancers and dance lovers alike – one that would allow Milwaukee Ballet to grow and better serve the community they have proudly been a part of for more than five decades.
Baumgartner Center houses administrative offices, rehearsal and training facilities for the Company and Second Company, and the downtown branch of Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy. The building includes six rehearsal studios as well as the We Energies Performance Studio, a black box theater with seating for 200 guests. Equipped with full production audio/visual capabilities, the theater is a regular setting for school performances, intimate productions, rehearsal viewings, and other presentations.
The building was named for Donald and Donna Baumgartner, who were the lead donors and co-chairs of the capital campaign that made construction possible. Jim Shields of HGA Architects designed the building and it was built by Catalyst Construction, both of which are local Milwaukee companies.
During Doors Open, visitors to BCD will be invited to participate in a self-guided tour that allows either direct access to or viewing of the building’s primary spaces, most of which are not typically open to the public. Highlights will include the Atrium, the rehearsal studios, the Wardrobe Department, and the We Energies Performance Studio. Milwaukee Ballet staff will be located throughout the building to answer questions, and printed materials with additional detail will be provided to all visitors. “In addition, the Milwaukee Ballet Boutique and Box Office will be open for visitors to shop and purchase discounted tickets for the upcoming season.